The ‘New Jerusalem’ liturgy (NJL) is inspired by the eternal liturgy of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb as revealed in the Book of Revelation. Chapters 4, 5 and 19 to 21 were particularly important. The consequence is that it also inspires the tone and arrangement of the worship space.
In regard to persons at the liturgy all are to be seen as equal (acknowledging the priesthood of the baptised) and yet it recognises that there are roles of special ministry (ordained priesthood and non-ordained). In chapter 4 of Revelation we read “In a circle around the throne …” (Rev 4:4). The circle of the eternal now becomes the circle of earthly equality in the liturgical celebration. The presider sits with the people. All people involved in the liturgy should know well their roles and be relaxed (and reverent) in their service of the sacred. In this way the extremes of formalism and rubrical adoration will be avoided.
The structure and format of the liturgy looks to the great traditions of the past both east and west. So the NJL has the ancient style of dialogue and response. The use of song is for contemplation and prayer. Because our communities are basically small we need a type of music that does not depend upon instrumental leadership. We use a style that can be led by the presider or a competent voice.
The liturgy tries to acknowledge the need for a more inclusive language in regard to the Trinity and Christology. It tries with the help of contemporary scriptural scholarship move the church towards expressing its worship in a manner that honours the rich inclusive images of the scriptures.
The NJL explicitly acknowledge its origins in the Jewish faith. To enable this, the Jewish Menorah and the prayer shawl are used at the station dedicated for the proclamations from the ‘First Testament’ readings. Throughout the liturgy there are many doxologies of praise which have been inspired by the psalms and ancient Jewish prayers.
There is no explicit creedal statement in the liturgy. It is felt that such statements best find their use in catechesis and theological study. It the ancient principle that we ‘pray what we believe’ then all of the liturgy should in some way give witness to creedal orthodoxy. The anaphora (Eucharistic or Table Prayer) is drawn from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians chapter 11 and John’s Gospel chapter 6.
One important element in the liturgy is the formal inclusion of silence after the readings from sacred scripture. Silence opens us to the reality of the Spirit’s ability to speak through intuition and feeling. The silence will honour the official revelation and its content through scripture and the personal experience of revelation through the Spirit.
The structural elements of the liturgy maintains the traditional sequence of – liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Eucharist. However the four pillars of proclamination and dialogue, doxology and declaration, shape the style and structural variations. The inclusion of the ‘Sacrament of Forgiveness’ before the Anaphora draws our attention not just to our failures to love but to the reality of God’s love-covenant faithfulness which will be celebrated and affirmed sacramentally.
There is in the NJL a place for the body at prayer. As a community there are times for kneeling, standing, and sitting in the sacred circle. The expression “we are the church” defines the experience of being and living as the Body of Christ. So often in past Eucharistic celebrations, the real work of worship was seen to be only in the hands of the ordained person presiding. It is hoped that the NJL will enable the emergence of a lived experience of Christ being present and acting in and through the community of believers and not just in the words and actions of the ordained but in the full active participation of all baptised members. Then the liturgy can be seen to be truly the work of all the faithful of Christ.
As a worshipping Eucharistic community me need the courage formed by faith to come before the living God with humble hearts to worship the one ‘in whom we live and move and have our being’ . Only time, prayer, and theology done on the knees will enable us to discern the value of our attempt to sing to God – a new song. Yes, even now the Spirit is saying to the church ‘behold I am doing a new thing’. May our God be praised now and for all ages. Amen.
If you wish to receive the Sacraments of Initiation - Baptism & Confirmation, Marriage or Holy Unions and Ordination; all enquires can be made through Bishop Ronald Langham
During the Sunday and Weekday Liturgies the community prays for the needs of the world and for those who support us.
If you have any needs that you would like the cathedral parish to hold in their prayer time please submit your request by the form below.
Wednesday Evening Mass
Each Wednesday the community meets to celebrate the weekday Eucharistic Liturgy of Saint John the Divine. All are welcome to join the community at 6 pm.
To inquire about this or any of our liturgies call Bishop Ron on (02) 8677 7762 or Fr Paul on 0431 563 310.
1st Century Faith
21st Century World
Ecumenical Catholic Church of Australia
Pro-Cathedral of the New Jerusalem
Celebrating 19 Years of Worship and Service
Cathedral Chapel (Room 33 Pingaree House)
Cnr of Brand St & McKillop Place CARLINGFORD NSW 2118
02 8677 7762 or 0414 184 940